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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Oneida poolee brings home honors

By Sgt. Pamela Shelley | | December 05, 2004

RECRUITING STATION ALBANY, N.Y. -- Trading in her school bag for an M16-A2 Service Rifle, a local Oneida High School alumni graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Training with top honors.

Lance Cpl Susan E. Moyer, 18, of Oneida, N.Y. earned the highly coveted title of Company Honor Graduate during the Nov. 7, graduation at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.

According to 4th Recruit Training Battalion, MCRDPI, S.C.,  an honor graduate is defined as a recruit who distinguishes themselves above the rest of their peers in the platoon. Honor graduates usually maintain high statistics in the areas of swim qualification, rifle range, and physical fitness test. Additionally, they possess and exude many of the Marine Corps' intangible qualities; such as leadership, self-discipline, military bearing, and esprit de Corps.

Moyer's recruiter, Staff Sgt David F. Kurz was not surprised when he got news of her success at Recruit Training. He had noticed these traits in her from the second they became acquainted in August 2002.

"When she first sat down with me, I could tell that she had the makings of an excellent Marine," said Kurz. "She was very well spoken, and in great physical shape. During her time in the Delayed Entry Program, I continually saw her progress. At each pool meeting she showed  up with a new piece of knowledge; she really became the leader of our team," he said.

Moyer attributes her success at boot camp to the preparation that the pool meetings provided her with.

"Study your Marine Corps knowledge," said Moyer "If you are on your way to the island, knowing that information will put you ahead of your peers. Your Drill Instructors notice that stuff a lot. They see a whole lot more than recruits actually think."

Running her Initial Strength Test weekly, and keeping up with high school sports helped Moyer physically prepare for training. However, nothing she could do would prepare her for the homesick  bouts that she regularly felt.

"I wasn't expecting to miss my family so much," she said. " Mail is gold down there, my mother was wonderful and wrote me every day. I felt bad that I never had time to write back. In fact I only wrote about 12 letters home."

Moyer, was assigned as the platoon Guide (the platoon's leader) early in the training evolution. Instead of spending her one free hour at night writing home, she chose to spend that period helping her fellow recruits in areas of weakness.

"I felt bad that some people were struggling in areas I excelled in, and vice versa. If  I could spend that time helping out another recruit and building a stronger platoon, then I knew my family would understand," she said.

The Moyer family drove down for the November graduation. Upon recollecting her memories of seeing them again, Moyer looks slightly embarrassed and slyly smiles.

"I was so worried about losing my bearing. They were seated right in front of me, and it was all I could do not to look at them. Both my mother and father were crying, and my little sister looked so different. She'd lost twenty pounds since I'd been gone," she said.
"Above all else, Recruit Training made me appreciate my family. Everyone changed a little while I was gone, and I missed that."

Moyer has since continued on with her training at Camp Geiger, N.C. She has elected a military occupational specialty in the public affairs field, and hopes to be stationed overseas.

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